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I was picked up on a vop in fl from 1992 dui .I sent a request to my lawyer asking for records now they sealed my probation

Florida |

Records ***SEALED*** VIOLATION REPORT what does this mean? how am i to defend myself with no records? PLEASE HELP??

Attorney Answers 2


  1. Your original attorney is not likely to be listed as your current counsel unless you specifically retain them for the VOP. If this is a VOP from 1992 it is even more unlikely.
    When a violation report is filed, and a warrant is issued, the file is normally closed until the warrant is served and the VOP prosecution instituted before the court. The affidavit of violation should become available soon after your arrest, and counsel will have access to it under the discovery process.
    At this point you should speak to your former attorney and determine if you are going to retain her/him on your VOP. If not, you should retain alternative counsel as soon as possible in order to allow them the time to work on your case. VOP's often move quicker than normal cases, so time is critical. Additionally, given the age of your case, many defenses may be available, or the ability of the State to prove the violation may be weak.
    Best wishes on a successful resolution of this matter.


  2. If the file is sealed, which makes little sense, there is a silver lining: if you can not access your records, then it is likely that neither the court nor probation can as well. The State needs to prove that you were advised by probation of what your responsibilities were. The likelihood that the State can determine who your 1992 probation officer was is low. The likelihood that this person still works with probation is even lower. The likelihood that the person (who they probably can not find) has an independent recollection of meeting with you 20 years ago to advise you of the conditions of probation are astronomically low.

    You should also should be arguing that, though the warrant was likely filed before the probation period ended (tolling the statutory timeline), your constitutional rights were violated because so much time has passed. The State has an affirmative duty to serve the warrant, or show evidence of its efforts to do so. If they fail to do either, and you can show that you were prejudiced by the expiration of time, you have a chance to have it thrown out.

    Hire a competent attorney to further discuss what I have outlined above. You don't necessarily need to retain your lawyer from 1992 either.

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